Hacking Culture: An Introduction from New Writer, Rax

The Time Has Come… To Talk of Many Things

I’m not the walrus. I’m Rax, and I hack things. I’m not a criminal (which is the name for people who commit crimes with or on computer). I like to zig when others zag.

For instance, when you’re driving in city traffic, ever notice how you come up to a stop light and there are 10 cars in the left-hand lane, but only two cars in the right-hand lane? Well, now there’s three cars, because I get in the right-hand lane.

That doesn’t make me a hacker, or does it? Do I look for other ways to do things? Do I look at things in other ways? Yes and yes.

So I like learning new things: my mind constantly needs to stretch and grow. I was the kid in elementary school who never won the “dictionary drill” game because as the other kids were scrambling to be the first to find the word the teacher revealed and recite its definition, I was the kid who said “there’s a new word I haven’t heard before” and I’d read the definition and stretch my brain, rather than mindlessly regurgitate the meaning of the targeted word.

A hacker, to me, is someone who does what they do because they love it. You know, whether or not it makes them money they’re doing it because they love it. They’re really into it. What ever they’re enthusiastic about they learn as much as they can and then they improve upon it and they share it with the world. That’s what a hacker is to me… Quite often it has something to do with computers or tech, but not necessarily. It could be with food. It could be with photography, with video, with music…

– Mitch Altman speaking on The Media Show

So in these pages I’ll be talking about some of the things that have tweaked my interest. Technology? Absolutely — it’s my primary focus. Science fact and/or fiction? (the line really is so blurry these days) You bet. But mainly it how these things (and others) collide with culture, and how they through those “Higgs Boson-esque ” elusive little particles that we refer to as life.

Oh, and kudos to the first one to figure out the double entendre in the opening of this article. I’m rather fond of entendres in all their multitudinous forms.

ARCADE ’85 Friday, LAGO Release Show Saturday

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Friday night the stellar pop-up Captain Cutaneum’s ARCADE ’85 revives from its summer slumber. Play classic vids for a quarter, from the faves to the obscure, and hopefully some new cabs. 8-11 pm, 660 N. Gilbert Road, bring quarters.

Saturday night at Tempe Tavern, join LAGO in celebrating the release of their full-length, Tyranny. SORROWER, MEATHOOK, and more open the show. 7 pm, 21 and over, and it’s free. No brainer.

Phoenix Culture Pass: The Phoenix Zoo

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The Phoenix Zoo

The next stop on the culture pass tour was the Phoenix Zoo. Don’t be deceived by the beautiful sky in this photo. It was hot. I hate the heat, but I love animals more. So off we went with sunscreen, water, and an umbrella.

My favorite part of the zoo is the pond leading to the entrance. In years past I vividly recall large carp and an abundance of cute turtles, but it looks like the habitat has thinned since. We entered the park and headed for the large safari area where we were greeted by two beautiful reticulated giraffes. Something you don’t get to see everyday.

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Reticulated giraffes are smarter than us

The animals were smart. Although accustomed to the weather, they were still seeking the shade of every tree. Next up, the spotted-necked otter. We caught it taking a nap almost camouflaged in the log in the upper left of the photo below.

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Spotted-necked otter nap action

On our tour we saw a Grevy’s zebra, a dancing Asian elephant, a Bornean orangutang, squirrel monkeys, a Chinese crocodile, komodo dragons and more. There were plenty of exotic birds from ostrich, to vultures, a thick-billed parrot, and Chilean flamingos.

Finally it just got too hot. We retreated into the reptile center, ending our animal hunt in the shade viewing the snakes, gila monsters, toads, and lizards. Taking advantage of the culture pass is great, but be like the animals and go early to avoid the waning heat.

CODE ORANGE and TWITCHING TONGUES Tour and LAGO Release Tuesday

The individual hardcore style of CODE ORANGE comes to the Underground on Tuesday the 16th, with TWITCHING TONGUES, GATECREEPER, and TRIAGE rounding out the show. Tickets are $12, show time is 7 pm.

The quality of releases coming out of Phoenix and Tucson is unreal, and it continues Tuesday when Phoenix death metal outfit LAGO releases their full-length, Tyranny. LAGO’s growth since Marianas is astounding and Tyranny is punishingly satisfying. I pre-ordered it instantly. Pre-order it or pick it up on the 16th for $10.

Tokusatsu Theater Friday, IRN Releases ‘Sewer Disease’ Monday

See the grandaddies of of Japanese giant robots tomorrow night at FilmBar. The monthly midnight fuzzfest, Tokusatsu Theater, brings TV’s Super Robots from the ’60s and ’70s, including the crazy transforming DENJIN ZABOGA above. 11:55 pm, $9.

Toronto doom threesome IRN releases their sophomore album Sewer Disease Monday. Only Denver’s Primitive Man is dank and heavy enough to get close to IRN’s sewer doom metal onslaught. $4 CAD.

Q: IS THIS THE BEST HOT DOG IN PHOENIX? A: Maybe.

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‘That’s The Best Shot You Could Get?’ ‘Well, It Was Bright And I Was Hungry’

On 7th Street just south of the light at Virgina, there’s an old house thats been a pretty rad restaurant for a few years now. Truth be told, I am kind of surprised I haven’t mentioned The Main Ingredient Ale House until now. A relaxing spot that almost never seems to be too busy, TMI has a small menu of great plates and a larger selection of craft beers; local and otherwise.

All of the sandwiches are better than their bare-bones descriptions belie but the one that sticks out for me is The Coronado Coney you see above (w a side of balsamic greens, because, you know: Health ). Everyone has their favorite dog around town, but its really hard to argue this charred one-made down the street at Schreiner’s-isn’t the best. Fresh roll, finely diced red onion and a mustard sauce made with Prohibition Amber Ale make this one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Yes, yes, hot dogs are sometimes kinda gross. This isn’t some bargain bin oscar meyer pig asshole frank though! This is a perfect meal and with a drink you can be out for about $10. Hit em up during happy hour and you can probably even squeeze a beer in for that price.